Georgia's Online Cancer Information Center

Annual ACS study grades Georgia poorly

American Cancer Society

Georgia fares poorly when it comes to implementing laws and policies aimed at preventing and treating cancer, according to a report released Thursday by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.

After evaluating all 50 states in eight issue areas, the organization gave Georgia a passing grade in only one: the quality of care for cancer patients. 

The report took Georgia to task for failing to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, raise taxes on tobacco products, enact smoke-free laws and fund smoking cessation programs.

"This year alone in Georgia, more than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer," said Andy Freeman, a spokesman for the network. "We owe it to them – and to everyone at risk of developing this disease – to do everything in our power to prevent cancer and improve access to screenings and treatment."

The report found Georgia is one of only six states that has not allocated any money toward a tobacco cessation program.

Nationally, the report found increasing access to health coverage through Medicaid is the most met benchmark, with 35 states having broadened Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Georgia lawmakers passed a bill backed by Gov. Brian Kemp this year authorizing the state Department of Community Health to seek a federal waiver that would let Georgia undertake a more limited Medicaid expansion.

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